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Public forum to tackle overdose crisis

Don Fennell   Jan-31-2018

Photo Wolfman-K via

The executive director of Richmond Addiction Services Society welcomes the opportunity to address the current overdose crisis at an upcoming community forum.

But Rick Dubras stresses dialogue must not be fleeting.



“We’ve had addiction issues since colonial times. We need to continue to address the causes in an ongoing manner,” he says.

Richmond Public Library is partnering with Richmond Addiction Services and the Overdose Prevention and Education Network on a free public discussion Saturday, Feb. 3 from10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the main Brighouse branch, 7700 Minoru Gate.

The public, and members of local organizations—including BC Emergency Health Services, City of Richmond, RCMP, Salvation Army, Pathways Clubhouse, Touchstone Family Services, Turning Point Recovery Society, Vancouver Coastal Health and Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users—will collaborate to create a response and prevention plan.

As an outcome, Richmond Addiction Services will put forward an action plan to all levels of government including the city and other funders.

“The more we connect and engage our community, the more we help to increase attention and uncover what needs to happen in order to prevent substance use from becoming problematic for individuals, families and communities,” Dubras says.

Too often, he continues, society looks for the quick fix to its problems. Instead, we need to understand the depth of issues such as addiction.

“Addiction and substance abuse are complex issues and we need the time and engagement in order to fully comprehend what is underlying those issues.”

Policy development, funding and strategic decisions need to be based on what is needed, Dubras says. It is about implementing change that not only saves people’s lives, but provides better understanding of the barriers and treatments.

While the Feb. 3 event is free to attend, registration is required

Lunch will be provided to registered participants, and parents with children are welcome to attend as free child-minding will be available by request at

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